A well respected member of the Country Women’s Association in the Coleambally-Argoon branch, Margaret Sheppard shares her experiences at the CWA in honour of celebrating 54 years in the association.
“I first became a member in 1964, and it was a life changing experience for me” she said.
At 95 years of age, Mrs Sheppard remembers how exciting, yet daunting, it was starting out in Coleambally.
“The settlements of Coleambally when we moved here, it was a new area, when we came here there was nothing, absolutely nothing.”
“I was from the Northern Beaches in Sydney, Mona Vale, a big contrast to here!
“We started working and developing the farm, and the women were very lonely and extremely isolated: we didn’t have any power, the roads were awful, and there was no communication, no phone, nothing.
“When the CWA started up here we formed our branch, and we had 36 at our inaugural meeting.
“It was a wonderful thing, because it got the women in contact with each other, we were able to meet our neighbors and get to know them, and it filled in a big spot in our lives.”
Margaret said there were “many memorable moments” throughout her time in the CWA, and it would be impossible to pick one as a favorite, however she has fond memories of preparing for the plays.
“I used to learn my lines for plays while I was driving the tractor, it was a pretty good place to do it because I could practice and memorise my lines.
“I can’t remember the first play I did, but I can remember one we did as a group, we put on a day in Jerilderie, and we put on a play there that was very well accepted.
“At that time Jerilderie and Coleambally used to have a newspaper, and a scene out of our play made it into the calendar, we did very well.
“I would say my life would have been narrower without the CWA, and it definitely brought me scope, brought me friends, which was a very important thing, and skills, because we do handicraft, and cooking, and all sorts of things if you are interested.
“To me, it’s a wonderful organisation, and I would encourage anybody to join in and take an interest in it, because it has a lot of aspects, and you don’t have to do everything, just the things that interest you, but there’s a lot in it, no matter who or what your are, and it’s a great place to learn things, and we do help.
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